image credit – Techrepublic.com
The number of tech hubs in Africa has risen from 120 to 314 according to a report by GSMA.
A tech-hub is any physical space that provides start-ups with resources and services to support their growth and include: incubators, accelerators, co-working spaces, fab labs, maker spaces, hacker spaces and other innovation spaces.
The growth of tech hubs in Africa is spread across 42 countries, with the majority of them found in South Africa (54), Egypt (28), Kenya (27), Nigeria (23), Morocco (21), Ghana (16), Tunisia (15), Uganda (12), Senegal (10) and Zimbabwe recording 5-10 tech hubs.
The main aim of established tech hubs is to foster collaborative relationships between stakeholders and create communities of partners, start-ups and investors.
The tech hub communities have grown over time thanks to the role of social media. Altogether the recorded tech hubs have over 600, 000 followers on twitter, 1,5 million followers on Facebook and a significant presence on Linked In.
13% of the recorded tech hubs are supported by mobile operators while half are supported by non telecoms companies and have partnerships with global tech companies like Google For Entrepreneurs and Microsoft with its YouthSpark initiative.
Moto Republik is a tech hub worth mentioning in Zimbabwe, launched in 2015, the “creative hub” offers co-working space for artists, designers, innovators, creative entrepreneurs, journalists and free-lance workers.
The tech hub initiative will help bring together creative and driven minds to help share insights and ideas.
In a country such as Zimbabwe where internet and electricity are limited and unreliable resources it would be easier to concentrate in one location and share the costs and benefits of the tech hub.
Most tech hubs locally require an entrance fee but this allows you to utilize their internet and electricity.
I can see tech hubs growing in Africa surpassing any expected figures as more entrepreneurs are becoming aware of the power of internet and the benefits of networking.